A group of officers who faced a frenzied and sustained attack from a violent criminal have been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards 2023.
On 18 June last year, Cleveland Police received a call from a Middlesbrough hotel at 1am reporting loud bangs coming from one of its rooms, with an intoxicated male shouting at a woman who was believed to be pregnant.
PC Mark Insull and another colleague, who wishes to remain unnamed, attended the scene and the door to the room was answered by a male of large build.
A woman in the room was crying and told them the male had not assaulted her but had caused damage to hotel furniture.
The male pushed PC Insull and told the officer they were not going to arrest him. The officer told him he was under arrest for criminal damage and attempted to put him in handcuffs, but he pushed PC Insull away again.
PC Insull drew their PAVA spray and threatened to use it if he resisted arrest.
The officer was forced to use it, but it had little effect on the male, who then took their t-shirt off and charged at PC Insull, knocking the officer to the floor and throwing punches at their head and face, causing injuries, which started bleeding.
PC Insull’s colleague then struck the male with their baton, but this had no effect.
The male pushed her onto the bed and picked up a chair to continue their assault on PC Insull; the male swung the chair at the officer, and PC Insull hit the male with their baton, but this again had no effect. The female PC called for assistance on their radio.
Despite the injuries inflicted, PC Insull pursued the male who continued to deliver heavy blows to his body.
PC Insull’s colleague sprayed PAVA in his eyes, but this had no effect once again.
At this point PCs Daniel Rooker and Chloe Bradley arrived on the scene.
PC Rooker shouted at the male to get on the floor and threatened to discharge a Taser, but he refused so PC Rooker used their Taser.
It stopped the male for a moment, but he swiftly pulled out the Taser barb and sprinted towards PC Rooker, throwing numerous punches.
Several of the punches landed, causing ligament damage to PC Rooker’s hand and arm.
Eventually the officers managed to restrain and handcuff him. He was transported to hospital before being taken into custody. The only injury they sustained was a dislocated finger.
The male was charged with criminal damage and four counts of assault on an emergency worker.
They later received a custodial sentence.
Cleveland Police Federation Chair Stephen Williams-Reader, said: “These fabulous four officers were genuinely fearful for their safety and their lives, but in the finest traditions of British policing, they stepped forward towards the danger.
“It is clear the offender was enraged and had every intention of seriously injuring the attending officers.
“Chloe and Mark were only student officers at the time and all four officers’ professionalism and quick-thinking was commendable during such a challenging situation.
“Not only did they confront the danger, but they also ensured this violent criminal ended up behind bars. What fantastic police work.”
PC Insull said: “When the man threw my colleague on to the bed, my heart started to race because I felt: ‘This is it. It’s a small room. There’s nowhere to go and my colleague’s right there’.
"My concern was for her because she was closest to him. So, I had to do something. I thought: ‘He’s got to be arrested. I can’t let him go; he’s done all this.’”
PC Bradley, who had only been in the police for a matter of months before the incident, said: “I’m really proud of myself and I’m really proud of my colleagues. If I’d been there by myself, who knows what would have happened? We stuck together as a team and that strength really got us through.”
Assistant Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, David Felton, said: “The bravery and level of professionalism these four officers showed that day is nothing short of outstanding and they have made the whole of Cleveland Police extremely proud.
“Our frontline officers are faced with dangerous situations day in and day out, but these officers kept the safety of the public and their colleagues at the forefront of their mind.
“They are a credit to themselves and are a fantastic role model to future officers looking to join the force. I’m so pleased that they have been recognised for their heroic actions.”